TODAY WAS THE WORST DAY I’VE EVER HAD ON A BIKE.  Temps at the bottom of the feared Col de Crusher, as we rolled through deepish sand, indicated 112.  I was actually feeling good there.  75 minutes later...

... at the top it was a different story.

My feet cramped, curling up in my shoes.  My claves cramped.  My quads cramped.  My hammies were good... but my triceps cramped.

I was panting like a dog, the heat and altitude and distance ganging up on me.

I would say I crawled in the last 10 miles.

But, I didn’t.

I refused to get off my bike.

All of the guys and gals I’d been riding with who stopped to stretch or pee or get serious aid at the aid station were never seen again.

The Crusher in the Tushar is a crusher.

If you are ever crazy, brave enough to do it here is my advice.

  • Get really comfortable on your gravel bike – position for sure, more importantly comfortable on actual gravel. Loads of riders lose time because their descending is weaksauce.
  • Get acclimated to altitude if you can – it’s 10000’ at the top.
  • Get your nutrition sorted out.

There is no need to pre-ride the course.  If you do, it is highly likely you will simply stay home, sleep in, and have breakfast with people who care about you!

The Crusher doesn’t care about anybody.

We all suffered today.

Even the regulars posted their worst times ever.

I had friend puking and taking the ride of shame back.  Another just laid down in the middle of the road... for 20 minutes.  Another, in that same 112 degree sand, blacked out and fell over.

Tod, not me I’m a double-D, said you know this will get more fun with time.

Here’s the funny part about that.

At 5pm, Jeff shot me a text.

You got 2nd.

No, no way.  I almost died.

Look it up.

2 hours after awards I looked it up.  Yep, 2nd.  Suddenly I’m like What cramps?!

I tracked down Tiffany who is in charge of the awards ceremony and I explained the situation.  Before she could give me any grief, I said...

I’m so sorry.


Well, I feel it’s disrespectful to skip the awards.  To you and the competitors.  It’s a trend at home and I’m not a fan.

Before you ask, If that’s true double-D, why weren’t you at the ceremony to offer congratulations?

It’s a simple answer.

Today was the worst day I’ve ever had on a bike.

It could have been worse if my tool bag exploded.  Saw more than one of those spill tools everywhere over the very bumpy course.

But, the mini-raceday bag is very pro.


6.5 hrs